Nearly every state housing finance agency (HFA) promotes some sort of supportive housing development through the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, according to a new report from the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).

CSH builds on its assessment of the agencies’ 2014 qualified allocation plan (QAP) policies with its Housing Credit Policies in 2015 that Promote Supportive Housing report. After reviewing 56 QAPS, the new report highlights significant changes in last year’s QAPS that aid supportive housing development.

The research shows that state HFAs are finding creative ways to drive more resources to supportive housing, which is defined as permanent housing with attached services targeted to a population with special needs, including people who are or have been homeless, have mental health issues, or have physical or developmental disabilities; frail elderly; and victims of domestic violence.

According to the report, 55 of the 56 agencies responsible for awarding LIHTCs provide potential scoring advantages for supportive housing, with 19 HFAs implementing new policies or substantially revised policies to encourage supportive housing development last year. Those include Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Additional highlights from the 2015 report include:

  • Fifty-two HFAs provided general scoring incentives encouraging supportive housing, special-needs housing, or housing for people with disabilities, up from 50 HFAs in 2014;
  • Eighteen HFAs promoted supportive housing with set-asides of LIHTC authority, up from 15 HFAs in 2014. These states include Maine, which added a $400,000 set-aside; Nevada with a $1 million veterans’ supportive housing set-aside; Pennsylvania, which increased its set-aside from two to four properties, depending on resource availability, and increased the pool from approximately $900,000 to $1.2 million; and Virginia, which added a 5% set-aside for a noncompetitive disability pool with preference for the homeless; and
  • In addition to the six HFAs that had a threshold requirement of dedicating 5% or more units to households with special needs, disabilities, or incomes below 20% of the area median income in 2014, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Pennsylvania established new thresholds last year.